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Old Today, 09:53 AM
 
5,636 posts, read 14,069,611 times
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I have an old house that was built in 1925 with concrete blocks as the foundation. The basement is relatively dry but now and then due to heavy rains it can/will pool up in some corner areas. I want to finish/remodel our basement for some additional living space, including a bathroom, etc. I am going to check with the city and determine what codes are required (floor to ceiling height requirements, etc). I'd like to do as much as possible on my own to save money, but I also do have savings that I have earmarked for home improvements.

With that said, what are the biggie items that I should contract out? Perhaps Water management (tile drain, sump pump, etc)? Electrical?

What are the things I can do on my own (limited construction experience)?

The total square footage of the basement is 780sqft.

Thank you!
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Old Today, 11:20 AM
 
1,188 posts, read 804,026 times
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Based on your limited experience, I'd suggest leaving electrical, plumbing and HVAC to the pros. Things like wall framing and drywall don't require a lot of special tools and can be learned through practice and instructional videos. Watch
Larry Haun's videos if you want to learn framing. He's a legendary carpenter and teacher who makes it look way easier than it really is.

Drywall taping is a possibility, but it can really showcase an amateur's lack of skill if done poorly. Trim carpentry is another highly visible component that a pro can do faster and better than most DIYers.

Painting as certainly a DIY job. Laminate flooring is not hard but requires attention to detail. Other types of flooring require special tools and skills.

This is a good opportunity to learn some new skills. But if the visible work looks shoddy, future buyers will be suspicious of the whole job. So pick your work carefully.
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Old Today, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
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Like Jonah said, leave important stuff to pros. You should try to correct water issue before you do anything. It might be as simple as redirecting downspouts, or doing a little grading. You also may want to add some waterproofing material to the foundation walls.
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Old Today, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,833 posts, read 49,702,894 times
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Correct the water intrusion first!

Don't do any finish work until you are completely satisfied that the water issue has been handled- 6mons to a yr. There's nothing worse than a damp musty feeling/smelling basement! Finishing it and having issues like that will basically render it "non-usable"! There is no product that will guarantee 100% sealing from the interior side of a foundation wall!

So, there's no reason to talk about any other items until that is complete.
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Old Today, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
9,319 posts, read 8,054,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
Correct the water intrusion first!

Don't do any finish work until you are completely satisfied that the water issue has been handled- 6mons to a yr. There's nothing worse than a damp musty feeling/smelling basement! Finishing it and having issues like that will basically render it "non-usable"! There is no product that will guarantee 100% sealing from the interior side of a foundation wall!

So, there's no reason to talk about any other items until that is complete.
I agree.
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Old Today, 03:57 PM
 
1,983 posts, read 684,348 times
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Resolving the water infiltration is your first step as well as verifying what the town requires regarding finishing this area, adding a bathroom and the required inspections.

Since you are deciding on specific elements of the construction which you might be able to do yourself, a detailed breakdown and pricing (contractors bids ) of the various aspects will help in your decision making. It you are not confident in completing some of the larger aspects of the construction, then it might not be to your advantage to attempt those on your own. Often there is an “economy of scale “ where a competent contractor can submit a better bid if he has full control over the project along with a schedule.

Piece meal usually usually ends up costing more and taking longer, however it’s really contingent upon your capabilities.
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